Graff Diamonds buys largest uncut diamond – Lesedi la Rona

Lesedi la Rona
[Image Courtesy - Fortune]

The second largest ever to be mined and the largest uncut diamond, Lesedi la Rona was unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. in November 2015. It is a 1,109 uncut diamond found at Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana.  During summer last year, it was put up for auction at Sotheby’s auction house in London, but the diamond could not be sold. William Lamb, Lucara’s chief executive, wanted to sell the diamond uncut and unpolished.

After more than a year, Lesedi la Rona finally has a buyer. Graff Diamonds, is a London jeweler who bought the diamond from Lucara for USD 53 million. Graff Diamonds have a history of buying large precious stones in million-dollar deals. With the possession of Lesedi la Rona, they are now the owners of world’s largest uncut diamond.

Lawrence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds said, “The stone will tell us its story, it will dictate how it wants to be cut, and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties. This is a momentous day in my career, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honour the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona.”

Earlier, Graff Diamonds bought a 374 carat diamond, claimed to be part of Lesedi la Rona, which got separated during excavation. This sale represents a ‘poignant reunion’ of the two stones.

Mined using Large Diamond Recovery (LDR) XRT machine, Lesedi la Rona is said to be the largest diamond unearthed using machines for automated diamond sorting.

Commenting on the failed attempts and the time taken to sell the diamond, William Lamb said,

“The discovery of the Lesedi La Rona was a company defining event for Lucara. It solidified the amazing potential and rareness of the diamonds recovered at the Karowe mine. We took our time to find a buyer who would take the diamond through its next stage of evolution.”

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